Date of Degree

12-2017

Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program

Nursing

Advisor

Dianne Lavin

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to improve statin therapy adherence among diabetic patients aged 65 and older treated at a small family practice clinic in western San Antonio. Additionally, the project aimed to decrease LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in this patient population as recommended to 70 mg/dl or less. Diabetic patients are more likely to die from a cardiac event than patients without diabetes. Statin therapy is an important factor in lowering cholesterol, which reduces the patient’s risk for atherosclerosis. Educating patients aged 65 and older about the role of statin therapy in preventing cardiovascular events, stroke, and vascular compromise may increase medication adherence in this population, resulting in appropriate LDL-C levels for prevention of these serious comorbidities. One hundred thirty-five chart reviews took place, from which thirty-three patients were identified for the education intervention. The patients were screened for medication adherence using the MMAS-8 survey before and after the intervention period to measure adherence to statin therapy. Education about cholesterol and statin therapy was provided during the patient appointment, and a handout was provided for reinforcement of education. LDL-C levels were drawn by the clinic laboratory before and after the intervention period to measure improvement. Results showed significant medication adherence increase and LDL-C level decrease among project participants after the 10-week implementation, though the target LDL-C level of 70 mg/dl or less was not met.